The real story behind "Lucky Man"

We had just formed ELP and went right into the studio to do the first album. It was back in the days of vinyl and you needed exactly 21 minutes per side. On one side, we only had less than 18 minutes and this guy from the label said, " Hey, you need another song..." and we looked at each other and then at him and said, " Well, we don't have any more songs. We recorded everything we know...". And he just said we had one more day in the studio and told us to come up with something. So, we all sat around and looked at each other and we asked each other if we had any other songs. No one had anything, and then I mentioned that I actually had this little folk song I wrote when I was 12 years old. So, I pulled out an acoustic guitar and I played "Lucky Man" for them, which was actually the first song I ever wrote. Anyway, the other guys thought I was mad, because we had never done any acoustic music up to that point. But, I kept playing it and I laid down a guitar and vocal track. And then Carl put some percussion over it, and it sounded better. And then we did some more over dubs and it sounded even better. And then, it Keith went in and did the moog solo, which, by the way, he laid down in one take. Finally, we had the final track and it sounded OK, so we kept it. As it turned out, it was the band's biggest hit.

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